Monday, July 1 – President Laurentino Cortizo takes possession at the ATLAPA Convention Center. National Day.
Democratic Revolutionary Change party candidate Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo, a businessman and former politician, won the presidency with 33 percent of the vote. He will take office on July 1.
The centrist candidate had a double-digit lead in most polls leading up to Sunday’s vote, but the race ended up being much tighter than anticipated with the two frontrunners separated by less than two points.
Election tribunal magistrate Heriberto Arauz called it “a precedent in Panamanian election history,” and the tribunal refrained from announcing Cortizo as president-elect until 23:40 local time, after more than 92 percent of polling station results had been processed.
Romulo Roux, the right-wing Democratic Change party candidate, ended up in a close second place with 31 percent of the vote. He refused to concede on election night, stating that his party await a further review of results.
Independent candidate Ricardo Lombana garnered 19 percent of the vote, far ahead of the four remaining candidates.
Election officials continue to tally the results of the elections of all 71 members of the National Assembly, Panama’s unicameral legislature, and hundreds of local government officials.
Cortizo supporters, gathered in a downtown Panama City hotel, erupted in cheers upon learning their candidate was declared president-elect.
“Panama decided its future,” Cortizo told the jubilant crowd, pledging to work tirelessly over the next five years for a prosperous and just country.